Defense Counsel Journal

President's Page - Volume 83, Number 4

Volume 83, No. 4

February 07, 2020

Lay_JohnT_2016_sized John T. Lay, Jr.

John T. Lay, Jr.

I wanted to take this opportunity in IADC's oldest ongoing publication to announce the publication of the updated and expanded Defense Counsel Training Manual. Thirty years ago, in 1986, then President of the IADC, Bernie Alsobrook, conceived the idea of an in-house training manual for members of the organization, their law firms, and corporate law departments. During his tenure as President in 1987-1988, Dick Davis created a special committee to develop an extensive in-house training program with the manual being the initial step. The First Edition of the Defense Counsel Training Manual was published in February 1989 during the presidency of George McGugin.

The original concept for the manual was fairly modest, an outline and resource for existing in-house training programs of law firms and law departments. At the time, the idea that law firms were obligated to act as education centers for newly graduated lawyers was still developing.

As the original manuscripts were being created, an interesting phenomenon occurred. The very best lawyers in the IADC volunteered to contribute sections in their respective areas of expertise. In addition to being a resource for in-house training programs, the manual blossomed into a compendium of thoughtful essays written by some of the most skilled and successful defense counsel in the United States.

The success of the Defense Counsel Training Manual exceeded every expectation. Back in 1986, the IADC had approximately 1,500 members, but by the end of 1994, more than 7,000 copies of the manual had been sold. The manual became “the defense lawyer’s bible.”

A second revised and expanded edition of the manual was published in February 1995 under the leadership of President Kevin Dunne. The Second Edition was a recognition that our practice and strategies evolve over time, we continue to face new challenges, case law, statutes and procedural rules, and it is imperative that the education of both new and experienced attorneys remain current.

It is for this reason that former Board member Dan Cray suggested that the time had come to develop and publish this Third Edition of the IADC's Defense Counsel Training Manual. I take this opportunity to thank Dan, those who volunteered their time and talents to contribute to the updated manual, our wonderful IADC staff, and in particular, thanks and appreciation to the members of the editorial board who devoted countless hours to bring this valuable work to a reality: Paul Cauley, Andrew Chamberlin, Henry Morrissette, and Stephanie Rippee.

I urge you to obtain a copy of this important work. It will be an invaluable and essential tool to train lawyers in your firm. To order, please visit the Defense Counsel Training Manual page under the Publications tab on

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